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Timeshare Broker Beat

The Timeshare Broker Beat: Bringing you up to date information about the timeshare industry - from tips on scouting out the hottest new property to scam alerts for protecting yourself when buying or selling timeshare.

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$6.3 Million Judgement against Timeshare Resale ScammersThe attorneys at Ballard Spahr have just released word that The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida have entered a final judgment and settlement against a number of fraudulent timeshare resale companies who employed illegal telemarketing techniques to bilk timeshare sellers out of thousands of dollars.

The Scam

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Posted by on in Timeshare Scams

REALTOR_logoWe're always advising timeshare sellers to check the licensing of a potential timeshare broker before they do business with them.

Checking a broker's licensing is one of the most reliable ways to ensure the reputability of a given real estate broker; but it's come to our attention that not many people know how to check a broker's licensing.

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Ten Signs it's a Timeshare ScamEvery year millions of people fall victim to scammers when trying to buy a timeshare or sell their timeshare. In fact, a recent Forbes article stated that "timeshare gripes were the fastest-growing category” of consumer complaints in 2012.

The unfortunate truth is that timeshare scammers prey on vulnerable individuals who are often in desperate financial situations. But don't lose hope. If you know what to look for, you can easily spot a potential timeshare scammer. If your potential reseller meets any or all of the criteria below, back away slowly. These warning signs don't necessarily indicate a timeshare scam, but they should raise a few red flags.

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Forbes Advice for Safely Selling your Timeshare

scumbag_steve_timeshareAccording to this newly released Forbes article, "timeshare gripes were the fastest-growing category” of consumer complaints in 2012.

Timeshares can be great for consumers who make effective use of them; and many complaints centered on timeshare sales and resales practices.

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FTC_LogoUnder a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Albert M. Wilson, owner and manager of Vacation Property Services, Inc. has been permanently banned from the timeshare resale and rental business, and from all telemarketing. The settlement order also imposes a judgment of more than $4.2 million. 

The case is part of the FTC’s ongoing effort to crack down on scammers who use fraud and deception to take advantage of consumers in financial distress.

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Do your Research!As discussed in a recent post here on the Timeshare Broker Beat, the Better Business Bureau frequently deals with reports of fraudulent timeshare resellers and timeshare scams. Thus, the BBB periodically releases advice for timeshare sellers and buyers on the resale market, to help protect them from dishonest business practices.

Not surprisingly, one of their most important tips is to always check with the BBB about potential resellers. First, check to see if any complaints have been filed against them, and if/how they were resolved.

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In light of recent timeshare and closing company scams, the BBB has once again released new advice for timeshare sellers. The Better Business Bureau is designed to protect consumers from fraudulent business practices while setting market standards and encouraging and supporting best practices.

Timeshare Broker Sales wears its BBB Accreditation proudly as a way to signify to our clients that we are a reputable and trustworthy source for timeshare resales.

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Last week, the Better Business Bureau began an investigation into the legitimacy of an Iowa-based “vacation ownership closing company” going by the name of Wade Capital Management.

According to iowa.bbb.org, "the company purports to be located at 668 19th Street in Des Moines, Iowa; however, mail sent to this address has been returned as undeliverable. The address is a 7 unit apartment building. The owner of the building states that there is no business known as Wade Capital Management operating from such location."

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This morning, the Tampa Bay Times ran an extensive story on timeshare fraud in the Florida timeshare resale industry. The article told the story of dozens of vulnerable, and often elderly, victims of timeshare scams, and the inability (or unwillingness) of law-enforcement officials to investigate.

How Timeshare Resale Scams Operate

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What do major timeshare mogul, David Siegel, and independent film festival Sundance have in common? One massive lawsuit, that's what.

Reuters reports that David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts, has filed a $75,000 lawsuit against filmmaker Lauren Greenfield and against Sundance Film Festival for defamation of character over a film (enttiled the "Queen of Versailles") depicting Siegel's timeshare business as faltering.

Promoted as a "rags-to-riches-to-rags" story that centers on the "innate virtues and flaws of the American Dream," the film depicts a filmmaker's proposal (in 2007) to document his construction of Siegel's opulent 90,000-square-foot mansion (what was to be the nation's largest family home) that today remains unfinished and up for sale (going for a clean $75 million) in 2010.

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